Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shadow of my Self

Losing control of my mask.

It was a weekend. A long, long weekend. I’m including Monday in this too, even though I was technically working. I took a day trip to Chicago for my job. Up at 4:30a.m. to fly out, back by midnight flying back.

Friday I hung out with Friend. I don’t know why I was there. Usually I feel some connection. I was alone in that room. Watching movies, geeking out, I couldn’t contribute. He kept talking, I wish he wouldn’t, I couldn’t think. I had nothing to say. I found myself mindlessly agreeing with him. About nothing particularly important, but I no longer had anything to say to him. He doesn’t even feel familiar to me.

No one does. Monday, waiting for my plane I texted all the friends I should feel close to. Nothing. Empty. Hollow tubes connecting where solid ties should exist. I don’t know what to do.

Saturday I knew it would be a bad day. As soon as I got home from Friends the night before I knew I was alone. Utterly. I slept as much as I could. Forcing my sleeping drugs down my throat to not feel. Saved by an unlikely source, my tattoo artist called me and I hung out at the shop going over his design. It’s not right, not yet. I’m obsessing over it. Figuring out how to make it more my own. I’ll sit down with him again this week, but I need to do it before Saturday when I’m having it done. I’m dreaming about it, how it can go wrong. How I’ll settle to not upset him since he put so much work into it already. But this needs to be about me, not just his talent. I will live with this and I can’t let someone else   I can’t. I have to remember this. Too often I let others have too much leeway. This is one area I cannot compromise. I’ll take this for me, because it is for me.

Sunday, I hung out with another guy I’m becoming friends with. I don’t know how to discourage him from liking me in a way that is more than I can offer, more than I care to offer. I don’t want to lead him on. I’m suspicious this is the only reason he’s around. I’m unable to not question his motives. I don’t know if I’m paranoid or perceptive. Got home that night and I finally gave in. Alone in my apartment I drank, ate, binged, purged. The last thought before going to bed should not be, this is how bulimia is supposed to be.

Monday I took a day trip to Chicago for my job. Up at 4:30a.m. to fly out, back by midnight flying back.  Me and a colleague, networking with others in my industry.

I couldn’t maintain my mask. People talk about masks occasionally. That image you present to the outside world to cover up what hides inside. The shroud thrown over your true Self to blend in with the crowd. Masking the madness within. It didn’t crumble completely. The weight of being someone I’m not for so long at one time, for someone that knows nothing of me other than the professionalism I present. There was no walking away. No slipping out to slough off the pressure pulling me down.

I work alone, occasionally mingling with coworkers. I can take a break when I need to drop the façade with no one monitoring me. During the day, meeting other professionals in my field, I held up. I held up for a long time. Too long. Usually I can walk away, take some time to release the pressure building up from crushing down my core. No opportunity this day. Not even a minute for me.
 

Walking the Ring I felt myself floating away. My mind reeling in that depersonalized spiral. My surroundings surreal. Watching the wall of electronics and machinery I floated two feet to my right. Hovering heady and light. I felt too tall; disembodied.  I’ve become so used to my dissociated emotions, but I have generally felt grounded. My body my own. Not this time.
Next, visiting a manufacturer, touring the machine shop my vision blurred. I viewed everything through a foggy lens that wouldn’t rub from my glasses. I love machine shops, the noise, the smell, the rush of productivity… too much, too much for me that day. I couldn’t focus my thoughts; I couldn’t tune my attention to what was being told to me.  I relied too much on my colleague to keep up the conversation. Interjecting only when I knew I needed to.

By the time we got back to the airport I could no longer project the professionalism. Not an emotional crumble, but too personal. Talk of school, spending my time alone, geekery, movies, forgetting to watch my pronouns, I felt like I was lying when I mentioned past boyfriends knowing that this was not my preference; knowing I did this only to redirect attention from a part of me I’ve embraced. I’m not used to repressing parts of me that I am believe in. Hiding in a closet has never been my way; however I never spend time socially with colleagues making it easy for me to never mention it. Professional is not personal, and my personal has no place in my professional. My identities don’t bleed together. There is no seamless transition. There is one, or there is the other. I tried to toe this line, but even talking about subjects that were safer I felt myself hunching over my beer, staring into the amber liquid looking for a way out. I played to my exhaustion, and his. It’s all I could think to do.

Coming into work this morning I feel well rested. I feel utterly out of place. This is not my environment. It’s wrong. Clothes that don’t fit, an office that is not me, air I can’t breathe. I no longer have a choice. I picked my path and now I have to see it through, but something broke. I don’t know how to pick up the pieces; glue them back together. The cracks in my armor are apparent to me and everyone will see that my façade is a fraud. I’m sure of it. I’m living someone else’s life.

5 comments:

  1. When you didn't post yesterday, I got very worried about you. I so wish I had some magic words to utter to help, but I know nothing I can say will alleviate what you're feeling.

    Paranoia and perceptive; two sides of the same coin.



    **sending you lots of hugs sorry i can't do more**

    ReplyDelete
  2. ::smiles:: Thank you. I really appreciate the concern. I was going to post Sunday and mention that I wouldn't be around, but I got swept up. This whole weekend was swept up. I didn't have internet at all yesterday and it actually made me incredibly anxious to not be able to post. Such an exhausting day.

    ::smiles:: Really, just such warm words are magic. It means a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The part about "Maintaining the mask..." good lord, that slapped me across my face. Brilliant.

    Maasiyat, recommended you to me. I am so glad she did.

    I deal with scoial anxiety disorder/acute anxiety. So much of this blog and your other posts relate. Can't wait to read more. You are very talented.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Lance =) Glad to have you. Maasiyat is wonderful isn't she!

    I'm right there with you with my General Anxiety Disorder (so much co-morbidity).

    Thank you. It's always wonderful to get such encouragement!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just wanted to say I was glad to hear of another borderline who puts others feelings and pride before their own even though they know in that given situation they have every right to be picky or want things their own way. I hate it but I'm the same way. For some reason I can't stop giving a piece of myself away to everyone else. (In regards to your tattoo artist) Only reason I say this is because us BPDs have a bad rep for looking out for number one and never thinking of anyone else.

    ReplyDelete

Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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